“Every creative, cultural and racial experience has to do with my work. I sift and look and taste.” Camille Billops (1977)

The passing of Camille Billops (1933-2019) comes as a shock to the system. She will forever be remembered as a force in the art world, especially as an advocate for the preservation of the papers of African American artists and art historians as an act of resistance from erasure. As an artist, she used her creativity to express her unique ideas about the world and her purpose in it. Within the contexts of the 1960s civil rights struggle, New York’s emerging black artists movement, and her personal struggles for affirmation, Billops came into her own.” Pellom McDaniels III


The Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Archives

Camille Billops and James V. Hatch donated to Emory University their collection of research materials on African American visual and performing arts. Assembled over the past forty years, this is one of the premier collections of its kind. The Billops-Hatch Archives provides a major resource for research in African American arts and letters of the 20th century. Highlights of the collection are:

  • Thousands of rare and out-of-print books, periodicals, posters, and pamphlets on all aspects of African American history and culture
  • Interviews with more than 1,200 writers, artists, poets and other cultural figures
  • Records of Karamu Theatre (Cleveland, Ohio) neighborhood house settlement, nationally known for its dedication to interracial theater and the arts
  • Scripts of nearly 1,000 African American-authored plays
  • Paul Robeson photographs, theater programs, and other printed material, including an extensive clipping file

Other collections complement this gift. For example, the papers of Delilah Jackson are rich in photographs, programs, and print ephemera documenting African American theater, dance, film, and music history.